Donovan, Galaxy Claim Record Victory in MLS Cup

Landon Donovan

No team had ever won five MLS Cups before the league’s premier team pulled out a victory in extra time on Sunday. While the LA Galaxy victory didn’t come as a surprise, it still proved historic for the franchise and their retiring legend.

Entering the season, the Galaxy were the odds-on favorite to hoist the trophy at the end of the season, trailed closely by Sporting Kansas City, New York Red Bulls, and the Portland Timbers. The 9/2 odds given to Los Angeles stand in stark contrast to the expectations for their final opponents, as the New England Revolution were considered a middle of the pack long shot at 20/1.

The Galaxy did as expected, finishing with the second-best record in Major League soccer behind league MVP Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan’s retirement tour. In the playoffs, LA completely demolished Real Salt Lake by a 5-0 aggregate score in the Western Conference Semifinal before advancing on away goals in the Conference final against Seattle.New England, for their part, also handled their opening playoff competition in fairly simple fashion, defeating the Columbus Crew 7-3 on aggregate before getting past New York 4-3 in the Eastern Conference Final. That set up the Revolution and their World Cup hero Jermaine Jones to try and play spoiler for Donovan’s fairy tale ending.

Despite every bookmaker on pegging the Galaxy as heavy -250 favorites or better, New England very nearly did just that, sending the match to extra time. It was there, however, that MVP Keane proved once again why he wears the captain’s armband for LA, netting the game winner in the 111th minute, providing the Galaxy with a 2-1 win and their historic fifth title, breaking a tie with DC United for the most MLS Cups in league history.

The loss had more ignominious meaning for the Revolution, who are now 0-5 in Cup Finals. Ironically, that is a new record in futility, breaking a tie for most runner-up finishes with the very team that defeated them.

The victory is the sixth time Donovan has hoisted the MLS Cup, and a fitting way to send off the United States legend. It is also a record all his own, yet another that was set on one historic day for Major League Soccer.

Pedro Heizer

The founder, editor and publisher of 90 Minutes Stong, Pedro is credentialed member of U.S. Soccer, Orlando City Soccer Club, Fort Lauderdale Strikers and others, as well as a member of the North American Soccer Reporters.

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